Happy Cinco de Mayo! Are you planning to celebrate by eating something delicious? Any day that encourages consumption of guac and margaritas is cool with me. That said, I wanted to share this recipe since it reminds me of our time in Mexico last month. While in Playa del Carmen, we ate tacos al pastor for lunch almost everyday from the taco restaurant around the corner from our condo. Fresh cilantro, seasoned pork and sweet pineapple is one of the best combinations ever.
I tried to recreate our favorite meal at home, with a twist. I wanted to make it grain-free so ditched the tortillas in favor of bibb lettuce wraps. Also, instead of pork, we used chicken (mainly so Reese would eat it), but pork shoulder might also work well in this recipe! Cooking this in the crockpot really gives the flavor time to marinate. And it is so easy. I am always looking for new ways to use our crockpot during busy weeks, it can be a lifesaver.
If you are reading this in the morning, there is still time to get this going so it's ready by dinner time! I cooked ours on high for 4.5 hours. So get the chicken marinating by 11 am, transfer to the crockpot by 1 pm, and dinner is served by 5:30 pm! Or if you want to set this on your way out the door for the day, you can marinate overnight and in the morning, set the slow cooker on low for 6-8 hours.
As for the garnishes you'll want some chopped white onion, cilantro, a lovely avocado, and plenty of lime slices. But most importantly, you need to find a perfectly ripe pineapple. Want to know my little trick to tell if your pineapple is ready to eat? Check to see if the body is starting to turn yellow, but also, give one of the green leaves in the center a tug. If it comes out easily, you have a winner. If it remains grounded even when you give it a tug, the pineapple needs a little more time. Nothing worse than chopping up a whole pineapple and finding out it isn't ripe - whomp whomp.
These definitely take us back to the taco stand in Playa, hope you enjoy them too!
Crockpot Chicken Tacos al Pastor
Adapted from: Crossfit Haboob
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 4-5 hours on low, 6-8 hours on high
- 1.5 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 1 or 2 chipotle chilis in adobo sauce (note: I am a total baby when it comes to spice, so add more chilis as desired, but these peppers are hot!)
- 1.5 cups fresh cubed pineapple, or one 8 oz can of crushed pineapple
- 1 cup white onion, diced
- 1/4 cup orange juice (fresh squeezed if you can!)
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon of the following spices: oregano, cumin, cinnamon, sea salt
For taco making:
- Bibb lettuce for wrapping
- Large avocado, sliced
- Lime, sliced
- Diced white onion
- additional PINEAPPLE sliced
- Make the marinade: in your blender or food processor, combine chilis (just add the chilis, not the sauce from the can), pineapple, onion, orange juice, garlic, ACV and all the spices. Blend. Check the spice level and add more chilis if desired.
- In a large glass container, add the chicken and marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- Place chicken with marinade in crockpot. Set on High for 4 hours, or Low for 6-8 hours. My slow cooker runs really hot, so 4 hours on high worked for me.
- Chicken should be falling apart and able to shred easily when it is ready. Place chicken on a cutting board to shred with two forks. Return shredded chicken to the crockpot to combine with the sauce.
- Make your tacos with lots of garnishes - pineapple, avocado, onion, cilantro and squeezes of lime juice!
Enjoy! Someone have a margarita for me today:)